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Pluralism in Theory and Practice: Richard McKeon and American Philosophy

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Unknown to many, unintelligible to some, Richard McKeon (1900-1985) is considered by those familiar with his work to be among the most important of all twentieth-century philosophers. In a career that spanned seven decades, McKeon published eleven books and more than 150 articles, inspired and intimidated generations of students (among them Richard Rorty, Wayne Booth, and Paul Goodman), and received most of the honors available to an American philosopher. As a teacher and administrator at the University of ...
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Overview


Unknown to many, unintelligible to some, Richard McKeon (1900-1985) is considered by those familiar with his work to be among the most important of all twentieth-century philosophers. In a career that spanned seven decades, McKeon published eleven books and more than 150 articles, inspired and intimidated generations of students (among them Richard Rorty, Wayne Booth, and Paul Goodman), and received most of the honors available to an American philosopher. As a teacher and administrator at the University of Chicago, he was instrumental in founding its general education program and initiating the first interdisciplinary program in the humanities. His achievements outside the university included a major part in developing the first cultural and philosophical projects of UNESCO. Fearsome in the classroom, he is renowned for his scholarly brilliance; the problems he thought important, however, did not occupy his colleagues' attention. Ironically, they are now the very issues that present-day philosophers grapple with, namely pluralism, the relationship of philosophy to the history of philosophy, rhetoric and philosophy, the diversity of culture, and the problems of communication and community. Pluralism in Theory and Practice not only brings McKeon to the attention of contemporary philosophers and students; it also puts his theories into practice. Some of the essays explicate aspects of McKeon's thought or situate him in the context of American intellectual and practical engagement. Others take the concerns he raised as starting points for inquiries into urgent contemporary problems, or, in some cases, for reexamining McKeon's work as fertile ground for shaping the direction of new investigation.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This outstanding collection of essays establishes Richard McKeon as perhaps the most important philosopher of his generation and the thinker most fitted to ours. It is the most articulate and intelligent statement of true philosophical pluralism to date.
--Thomas Conley, University of Illinois

Richard McKeon was one of the most profound and brilliant philosophers of the twentieth century. Pluralism in Theory and Practice offers valuable clarifications and appreciations of the work of this unduly neglected but major thinker.
--Alan Gewirth, University of Chicago

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Product Details

Meet the Author


Eugene Garver is Regents Professor of Philosophy at St. John's University and author of Aristotle's Rhetoric: An Art of Character (1994).

Richard Buchanan is professor of design and head of the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University and is author of Discovering Design: Explorations in Design Studies (1995).

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Table of Contents


Contents
Introduction
1. Philosophy and the History of
Philosophy, Richard Popkin
2. McKeon: The Unity of His Thought,
Walter Watson
3. Between Pragmatism and Realism:
Richard McKeon's Philosophic
Semantics, David J. Depew
4. Theory and Practice Revisited:
Reflections on the Philosophies of
Richard McKeon and Talcott Parsons,
Donald N. Levine
5. One Mind in the Truth: Richard McKeon, a Philosopher of Education, Dennis O'Brien
6. Memoirs of a Pluralist,Charles W. Wegener
7. Pluralism and the Virtues of Philosophy, Eugene Garver
8. The Ecology of Culture: Pluralism and Circumstantial Metaphysics,
Richard Buchanan
9. McKeon's Contributions to the Philosophy of Science,
Walter Watson
10. From Semantics to Praxis: Some Old Tricks for the New Pluralism,
Thomas Farrell
11. Richard McKeon's Pluralism: The Path between Dogmatism and
Relativism, Wayne C. Booth
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